'Canadian Psycho', who allegedly killed Chinese teenager and posted murder video online, to stand trial

'Canadian Psycho', who allegedly killed Chinese teenager and posted murder video online, to stand trial
Montreal:  A Canadian ex-porn actor will stand trial for premeditated murder in the grisly killing and dismemberment of a 33-year-old Chinese student, a judge ruled Friday.

Sufficient evidence was heard during a preliminary hearing to warrant prosecuting Luka Rocco Magnotta for the murder of Lin Jun in May, Court of Quebec Judge Lori Renee Weitzman said.

A trial date will be set on April 29.

According to prosecutor Louis Bouthillier, the trial is likely to get underway early next year. "The investigators have worked hard (on this case), but there's still a lot of work to do," he told reporters.

Magnotta, 30, pleaded not guilty in June to first-degree murder and other charges, including committing indignities to a body and harassing Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Police have said that Magnotta, a one-time gay porn actor and sex worker, stabbed his victim with an ice pick before carving up his body, sexually abusing the corpse, filming the act and posting the video online.

Questions, however, were raised about his mental health and whether he was fit to stand trial.

Canadian media revealed that Magnotta was treated for paranoid schizophrenia -- a condition he has long suffered -- in 2005 when he was convicted of fraud.

The defense argued in court that the evidence gathered in the case was insufficient to prove that the murder was premeditated, and urged a lesser charge that carries the same life sentence but offers a chance at early parole.

Over the past four weeks, the court was shown photographs and video, and heard pre-trial testimony from more than 20 witnesses, mostly policemen and experts.

Court restrictions have limited reporting of the proceedings.

Psychiatrist Thuraisamy Sooriabalan said in a doctor's letter filed with the Ontario Court of Justice in June that Magnotta was treated with antipsychotic medications, as well as drugs to reduce anxiety and help him sleep.

He attended supportive psychotherapy and health education but did not always take his medications. And without the drugs, "he would be prone to relapse of his symptoms, which include paranoia, auditory hallucinations, fear of the unknown, etc," Sooriabalan said.

Days after Lin's death, police discovered the victim's torso in a suitcase by the trash outside an apartment along a busy highway in Montreal.

His severed hands and feet were sent through the mail to federal political parties in Ottawa and to two schools in Vancouver. The head was found in a Montreal park two months later.

The media dubbed Magnotta the "Canadian Psycho" after it was discovered that the soundtrack from the movie "American Psycho" was playing in the background of a video of the alleged murder that was posted online.


Story First Published: April 13, 2013 10:04 IST

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